Laura Wolvaardt’s highest T20I score was in vain as the Proteas Women suffered a six-run defeat to Pakistan in the third match in Karachi on Monday.
Wolvaardt dispatched nine fours in her 72 off 54 deliveries in South Africa’s unsuccessful chase of Pakistan’s 150-5 after the hosts’ top-order – featuring Sidra Ameen (39), Bismah Maroof (39) and Nida Dar (36) – set the platform for the triumph.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, the Proteas restricted the hosts to 41-0 in the powerplay before Nonkululeko Mlaba (1-24) made the breakthrough to dismiss Shawaal Zulfiqar (18) with a caught and bowled in the seventh over.
Despite losing her opening partner, Ameen combined to great effect with Maroof to put together a 49-run partnership for the second wicket before Nondumiso Shangase (1-25) picked up a wicket in her first match since September 2021 to remove the in-form Ameen to leave Pakistan 90-2 in the 13th over.
In the last seven overs of the innings, the home side, through their explosive captain Dar, put the visiting bowlers under pressure as the all-rounder smashed five fours and a six.
Tumi Sekhukhune (2-24) was South Africa’s most successful bowler.
The Proteas batters got off to another promising start through Tazmin Brits (18) and Wolvaardt before the former was beaten by Nashra Sandhu’s spin in the fourth over. Four overs later, Sandhu (2-16) made another important breakthrough as she dismissed Anneke Bosch (10) caught and bowled before the away side reached 73-2 at the halfway mark.
Wolvaardt led from the front and brought up her eighth career half-century before Pakistan picked up a further two wickets, dismissing Suné Luus (13) as well as Wolvaardt through Sadia Iqbal (2-25) to leave the Proteas facing an uphill battle on 133-4 after 18.3 overs.
All-rounder Nadine de Klerk added a further 22 runs to the scoreboard as the Proteas fell six runs short, leaving Pakistan to celebrate their first series whitewash against the Proteas.
The first of three ODIs will take place in Karachi on Friday (12:30 SA time).